Hailing from the USA, today we have a very unique band under the moniker Wolfpack 44. Formed by members of Electric Helfire Club and Kult ov Azazel , the band plays a very unique blend of Industrial Black Metal with some experimental elements. Featuring over 45 minutes of music, this release will appeal to fans of bands like Mysticum, Aborym and Diabolos Rising.
After the disturbing atmospheric intro, the band unleashes its full power with the pummeling riffs and oppressive atmosphere of “The Black March”. Perfectly mixing incisive guitars, tight drums and superbly harsh vocals, this track sets a very brutal tone. Following with the completely deranged “Rituale Romanum” featuring Dana Duffey on guest vocals, the band makes it clear that this release will be a true roller coaster ride.
As one of the most unique and odd bands of North America, The Body has made a name for itself by doing tons of unique collaboration while refining a punishing experimental Sludge/Drone sound. On their fifith full-length release “No One Deserves Happiness”, the band continues to push the boundaries of normal and delivers what they call “the grossest pop album ever”. After listening for multiple days we have to completely agree with their claim, as this is one nightmarish release that will puzzle the masses and hypnotize the illuminated ones.
Opening with the haunting “Wanderings” we get some fragile female vocals nicely contrasted by some Sludgy dissonant riffs and a very unnerving tempo. As soon as the harsh vocals come into the picture the album gets even weirder with such an extreme contrast… signature move of the band. After a little breather with the weird “Shelter is Illusory”, the band delivers a violent Drone/Noise pair of tracks with “For You” and “Hallow/Hollow” that will rattle anybody out of their seat.
After their impressive 2014 release “Street Lights Fail”, Nucleus Torn returns with one last perplexingly beautiful release titled “Neon Light Eternal”. Featuring three songs and clocking in at around 40 minutes of music, Fredy Schnyder’s experimental outfit delivers one hell of a swan song. If you though the band’s last releases have been weird, you are in for quite an experience with this one.
Opening with the mellow and Jazzy “A Declaration of Mistrust”, we instantly get a glimpse of Anna Murphy’s enchanting vocals. This track again reminded us of a mixture of Lethe with Tenhi/Empyrium thanks to the dramatic Neo-Folk passages weaved into this track. The whole proggy/jazzy vibe in this track is amazing, and considering it lasts 22 minutes, we are very amused at the wide variety of elements and influences introduced throughout that keep the song fresh and engaging.
Hailing from France, today we have a very unique band that pushes the limits of Post-Metal, Post-Hardcore and Math Metal, creating a very unique and devastating mixture. Nerv delivers seven relentless tracks in “Vergentis In Senium”. Perfectly crafted for fans of bands like Neurosis and Dysrhythmia, this is one very powerful release that will rattle your senses.
Opening with the punishing wall of riffs in “Cathars” we brace ourselves for a brutal and nihilistic release. The vocals are very similar to Neurosis and the overall sense of urge in songs like “Tortures” has a Dysrhythmia edge to it. The band does a great job in crafting complex song structures, leaving the listener puzzled and always expecting something different.
Slowly establishing themselves as one of the most innovative experimental Metal bands in the USA, today we have Locrian and their latest opus “Infinite Dissolution”. Nicely evolving over the years, this Chicago-based outfit perfectly blends elements from Post-Metal, Black Metal, Drone, and Noise, creating a super think and powerful atmosphere unlike anything else we have ever heard.
Opening with the oppressive wall of sound of “Arc of Extinction”, the band creates the perfect introduction to their music. Crushing riffing, bi-polar drums, and very harsh vocals to open the track craft a truly unique opening experience. The band’s music weaves back and forth between styles and on this opener they give us a great sampler of what is to come. Mellowing out with “Dark Shales”, we find the Post-Rock-ish guitar leads quite engaging and well fitting. If you appreciate the band’s ‘noise’ side of their sound, “KXL I” is sort of an interlude that will satisfy your cravings.
Arriving from France, today we have a very interesting and different release titled “Altra” from a band called Naïve. Mixing Progressive Rock/Metal influences with some trip-hop, shoegaze, and tons of electronic elements, they manage to create a very unique and dramatic cinematic experience in this album. Being more of the commercial-friendly spectrum of things, this release is quite mellow and perfectly enjoyable on a rainy day.
Opening with the playful “Elevate/Levitate”, we are instantly treated to a very well put together track that nicely navigates through multiple moods and different soundscapes. With every track featuring soaring vocals and powerful guitars, this French trio has developed a very unique and solid formula to deliver high-quality songs like “Yshbel” and the excellent “Mother Russia” to name a few.
We love it when bands push the limits of music and Sigh is a fine example of how to continue finding odd ways to further expand your sound in the most bizarre and exciting ways. With “Graveyard” the band continues down their path of madness and delivers one of the most exciting releases of 2015. Featuring a plethora of guest appearances and a central theme around Italian zombie flicks and Fabio Frizzi’s compositions, this is one of the must have releases of 2015.
Leading with guest Kelly Simonz’s guitar leads on “Kaedit Nos Pestis” and the dramatic atmospheric/psychedelic elements of “Graveward”, the band sets a very atmospheric and chaotic mood right from the start. Mirai Kawashima and Dr. Mikannibal have an amazing chemistry and their insane vocal incursions are just one of many things that make Sigh quite unique. The madness reaches new level with the very cinematic “The Tombfiller” and its killer symphonic arrangements, brilliant guitar solos (courtesy of Kelly S again) and crazy effects.
Delivering their most impressive offering to date, today we have A Forest of Stars (AFOS) and their fourth full-length release “Beware the Sword You Cannot See”. Further expanding their already very theatrical and unique sound, AFOS has crafted a very complex masterpiece filled with string instruments, solid percussions, and a very hearty foundation of Metal to pull everything together.
Opening with the chaotic “Drawing Down the Rain”, has a very schizophrenic feeling that it only gets more bizarre as the release goes by… and we love it. The bands heavy riffing and pummeling drums lay the perfect foundation for the plethora of extra instruments and multiple vocal styles that this seven person outfit delivers. With a distinct feeling of getting lost in somebody’s dark mind, tracks like “Hive Mindless” and “Blaze of Hammers” continue punishing the listener with abstract sounds and very cinematic atmospheric elements.
After mesmerizing us with their debut release Closed Room back in 2012, today we have Closed Room back in this very unique split with two other Belorussian bands that feature at least one member of Close Room in each of their lineups. With three tracks per band, we get a very diverse set of influences and very unique songs from all bands. Thanks to the heavy emphasis on atmosphere, this release is one that you will not forget so easily.
Opening the first part we have Closed Room and their suspenseful atmospheric/Trip Hop track “Surrender”. This song creates a very dense atmosphere that is nicely contrasted by Morena’s vocals and the ethereal keys. The best song in this release (and possibly the first few months of the year for us) is the uber catchy “Dancing in the Dark”. Featuring a very perky mood and highly addictive guitars notes and beats, this is one song that will never leave your head. Things get a bit heavier with their rendition of Angelo Badalamenti’s Laura Palmer Theme from Twin Peaks. The band made this track their own with eerie atmospherics and creepy vocals/samples.
With a very engaging sense of experimentation and lush Post-Metal/Prog influences, today we have Ashen Waves and their debut album “Premonitions”. Being from the USA, the band brings some of that European ingenuity into their music with a very diverse blend of musical genres cohesively put together to deliver 10 tracks of solid music.
Opening with the Amorphis/Vintersorg influenced “Whispers”, we are treated to a very promising opener that perfectly blends multiple genres. We particularly enjoyed the upbeat keyboards and crafty mixture of clean and harsh vocals. The band’s next musical exploration is the surprising “Enmity” that delivers a healthy mix of Doom/Sludge riffs with dreamy Post-Metal/Proggy passages. While this style might sound odd, the band gracefully pulls it off.